I don’t think there would have been too many people who predicted the announcement from new transport minister Lord Adonis that road pricing was to be scrapped. And I also don’t think there will be too many people who aren’t breathing a huge sigh of relief that the policy will be taken no further.
Reading some of the comments made from Lord Adonis, I think he has admitted that the scheme would have ended up costing motorists a lot more than they are paying now, which most people probably knew already.
It’s his comment: “This is not the time to be putting that (road pricing) before the British people,” that interests me the most. Clearly Lord Adonis thinks that taxing people more, which is what inevitably what would happen, won’t make a strong case to recession-affected Labour voters at the next election.
It’s nice to see that in our clouded political system, common sense can still prevail. It was the current chancellor Alistair Darling who first proposed road pricing in 2004 during his stint as transport minister.
Fuel duty is already eye wateringly high, as is the cost of taxing a car, so any extra charges were not going to go down well with the British public.
The government now seems to be listening to the concerns of the motorist, which can only be a good thing. A 2007 online petition opposed to road pricing was signed by more than 1.7 million people, a number Labour simply couldn’t ignore.
Initial scrappage signs also show it to be a success, so lets hope Labour continue to listen to the concerns of the motorist for however long its government lasts.